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Friday, January 7, 2011

Obama, the Fiscal Conservative

Bush: "Thank you for continuing my economic policies and my wars"
Obama: "It is my pleasure.. Look forward to a round of golf with you"

I read this commentary earlier today on Yahoo! and pretty much agree with it...

Obama Shows His True Colors ... and They're PRO-Business (Still)

by Aaron Task

"It's getting harder to make the case President Obama is "anti-business," judging by this week's round of senior-level appointments.

First and foremost, President Obama named William Daley as his chief of staff. Daley was Commerce Secretary under President Clinton and currently oversees JP Morgan's Midwest operations. Daley also sits on the boards of Boeing and Abbott Labs, is a former Fannie Mae board member and was president of SBC Communications, among other C-level positions.

"I frankly think it's kind of a hopeful sign," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said of Daley's appointment, Roll Call reports. Given McConnell's persistent criticism of the Obama administration for being anti-business, that should tell you pretty much all you need to know about Daley -- regardless of where you sit on the political spectrum.

In addition to Daley, President Obama named Gene Sperling as director of the National Economic Council, succeeding Larry Summers who, by the way, is the keynote speaker at the 17th Annual Global Hedge Fund Summit in Bermuda  (If former Obama budget director Peter Orzag wasn't still settling in at Citigroup, I'm sure he'd be outraged by Summers' latest spin through the Wall Street-Washington revolving door.)

Sperling was head of the NEC during the Clinton administration. More recently, he's been an adviser to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, made nearly $900,000 advising Goldman Sachs (albeit for one of its charitable projects), served as a director of the Philadelphia Stock Exchange and was paid handsomely for giving briefings to two hedge funds, Brevan Howard Asset Management and Sterling Stamos Capital Management, The Huffington Post reports.

Talk Is Cheap

Yes, President Obama and some staffers (see Salazar, Ken) have used some overly harsh anti-business rhetoric, which is unseemly and un-presidential. But actions speak louder than words.

To date, the President's actions have largely been pro-business, especially when it comes to financial reform and reigning in the alleged abuses on Wall Street... Heck, Obama wouldn't even nominate Elizabeth Warren to run the Consumer Financial Protection Agency because she was deemed too hostile to Wall Street.

And, of course, Obama reneged on his pledge to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans and had pushed to open up the Atlantic seaboard to oil drilling - before reneging after the BP disaster in the Gulf.

Even Obama's health-care reform, which businesses purportedly loathe, calls for a fairly small penalty for companies who drop coverage for their employees. Maybe that was the administration's goal all along but the bottom line is paying the fine will be cheaper for most firms than providing insurance, something companies like AT&T have already deduced, as Fortune reports.

In other words, Obama-care may wind up being good for the bottom line of the same S&P 500-type corporations currently sitting on around $2 trillion in cash.

Looking ahead to 2011, the following pro-business policies are likely to be on the President's agenda:

    * -- Free-Trade Agreements with South Korea, Columbia and Panama, which are already in various stages of development.
    * -- End a ban on Mexican trucks operating in the U.S.
    * -- Lower corporate tax rates and generally cut red tape, with a helping hand from the GOP-led House, of course.

The stock market... has done extremely well during Obama's first two years.

How you view all this depends a lot on where you sit on the political spectrum, of course. My point is the whole "Obama is anti-business" meme is a canard -- and always was. "


~  Don't believe the political talking-points Republicans say about Obama

He is one of them..  a Fiscal Conservative..

Like Obama's hero.. President Reagan.

As I stated the other day, this nation has not had an economic liberal in the White House since Jimmy Carter, and whether or not Obama wins re-election in 2012, you're not going to see a fiscal liberal for another six years minimum...

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